Private investors are beginning to invest in public health projects (like lowering asthma hospitalization rates) - with the promise of getting their money returned if certain goals are met. These investments will appeal to those who want their portfolio to go towards what they see as social goods. There's a few of these such experiments in the early stages. It will be interesting to follow their progress and see if they're successful - in producing health gains and reocouping investments.
The plan is to create a “social-impact bond,” a contract in which Wall Street and other investors agree to support programs with goals such as taxpayer savings and improved health outcomes. If the programs can demonstrate with solid evidence that they have met those goals, the investors recoup their principal and get a return, typically from the government. In some cases, as in Fresno, grants fund the initial work before organizers turn to investors.